Q: What is your biggest motivation?
A: My biggest motivation would have to rely on the importance of music culture and the dedicated bands that are playing music every single day in basements, venues across the US, and to all the bands not looking for quick monetary returns, but looking for a form of stress relief from their already difficult situations which can only be 100 percent fulfilled through playing music, or to the bands who showcase a part of themselves they wouldn’t be able to showcase without music. Those bands are easy to find because it shows in their music and in their personalities. That’s what keeps the faith for me in the music scene.
Q: How has Montclair State University fostered you as an artist?
A: Being a political science major with minors in pre-law and public administration you don’t have a chance to immerse yourself into the thriving music culture within the campus of Montclair State. You can see it and hear it all around you. The reason why I initially chose Montclair was because of the vibe and scene it had to offer.
There is The Meatlocker venue that I regularly play at, which is kind of a dive, but it is the best place to see a cool band at. People across campus frequently visit The Meatlocker to catch a show or support a friend. Being a student at Montclair State makes me take pride in these things, and realize how special it is to be a part of it.
Q: Who are your biggest
A: My biggest supporters are definitely my bandmates, and my family, who has supported me since I began music, as long as I kept the grades up. The most important supporter you can have is yourself at the end of the day. If you don’t believe in yourself, and if you’re not listening to your music in the process of making it and aren’t listening to yourself as a fan and supporter of the music, you’re doing something wrong. Criticisms and support for a piece of music are always good to hear from a third party from time to time, but when you just know what works for yourself and what doesn’t, you will eventually not need the third party and you can stand as an artist independently. I feel every artist deserves to feel that sense of independence. That’s how you keep your sanity and it helps prevent oneself from having a falling out with music.
Q: Who are your biggest inspirations?
A: My biggest musical inspirations lie in a couple of bands I regularly listen to on a day-to-day basis: Blink-182, The Menzingers, The Gaslight Anthem, Bruce Springsteen, and Brand New, to name the biggest ones. From time to time, I’ll get into a whole sub-genre of bands which will deter my writing for guitar parts or even lyrics with “Rachel,” the new project I’m a part of. For a while now, I’ve been involved in the the rock and punk scene here in New Jersey, across the US and have booked a tour for a past project in the UK two years ago. As time goes by, you make more and more connections, and you learn how to execute them for your benefit and hopefully theirs.
Q: What’s your latest project?
A: The new project I’m a part of is called “Rachel.” We’re a three-piece punk rock band starting to play shows locally at this time and eventually, we’re hoping to do some touring. We had our first show at Crossroads in Garwood, New Jersey earlier this month, which went extremely well. We have been focusing on our first EP release, “Abysmal,” which we’re planning to release hopefully by January or February. It’s a really different take on punk rock with some odes to our favorite bands. Some songs sound like they could be a Sum 41 song, some parts sound like Blink-182, and the lyrics just are fun and stand on [their] own. When I listen to the recordings right now, I feel that it’s extremely different from what bands and listeners are used to playing and hearing. Of course there’s a sense of conformity to the scene and what it calls for, but at the end of the day, it’s different, and we’re happy about that.